Dale Forrister


I am gay and I am an ecologist.//


I grew up in on a dirt road in Vermont, until I headed west to study Hispanic Studies and Biology at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Or. Now I am a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utah, and I study how plant chemistry influences the interactions between plants and their insect herbivores in tropical rainforests. During my Ph.D., I have lived and worked in Ecuador in one of the most biodiverse forests in the world. I have loved being a field biologist because it leaves me in constant awe seeing the innumerable ways plants and animals adapt and interact with other rainforest species. Back in Utah, I use mass spec metabolomics to study plant defense chemistry. Outside of the jungle or the lab, you’ll find me skiing, botanizing, biking, backpacking, or generally exploring Utah’s beaUTAHful mountains and deserts.